David Andrews' extension is a great under-the-radar move for the Patriots

The veteran center is an offensive stalwart
New England Patriots v Green Bay Packers
New England Patriots v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The New England Patriots made a move last week that may be considered routine and without great importance. They signed veteran center David Andrews to a two-year contract extension. It's a very underrated signing.

The Patriots' offensive line has been its Achilles heel for a few seasons due to a lack of talent and attention to critical positions. In addition, former Coach Bill Belichick couldn't see the forest from the proverbial trees when it came to utilizing one of his best, Mike Onwenu, at an optimum spot.

Belichick was late to the party. In two seasons, he delayed moving Onwenu to right tackle, his best position. Instead, he chose to patch up that important spot with journeymen or lesser talents. It was costly to the team and contributed to sinking then quarterback Mac Jones.

With David Andrews, new personnel chief Eliot Wolf has taken a page from another book and re-signed long-time center David Andrews to a very astute and valuable two-year contract extension.

This is a solid move for three key reasons to be explored here.

David Andrews will help the rookie quarterback immensely

David Andrews will be approaching his ninth season as the New England Patriots center after Bill Belichick brilliantly signed him as an undrafted free agent. It was one of Belichick's very best personnel moves ever. Andrews has never disappointed. He's started almost every game since his rookie season in 2015. Experience counts.

One of the center's most vital functions is to call signals for the offensive blocking scheme. If you have Tom Brady at the helm, it's of lesser importance. But it becomes much more critical if you'll have a rookie at the helm (expected here early, if not from Day One), especially when you don't have a top left tackle on hand.

With rookie QB Drake Maye expected to be the starter early on, Andrews signal-calling will be paramount. No rookie, no matter how smart, can detect all the nuances of an NFL defense. Having an NFL battle-tested top center on hand is essential if you hope to have a winning season or more.

This is the primary reason Eliot Wolf's signing of Andrews, previously called here the "Rock of Gibraltar," is of such magnitude. Andrews will be anxious to assist the rookie, who is the top-three draft pick where he'll need it most: in defense recognition—hats off to Mr. Wolf for a top signing there.

Two more top reasons why Andrews' contract extension is a home run by Eliot Wolf

A second reason signing Andrews makes great sense is that he's the team's second-best offensive lineman. After Mike Onwenu, no one even approaches Andrews' level of competence on this second most critical unit on the team.

Like any other unit, the critically important offensive line is made up of individuals. If you are talented, you'll have a good chance of being successful. If not, there's little hope. Belichick's later years were marred by poor draft choices on the O-line, including massive reaches like former first-round draft pick guard Cole Strange.

Talent is key, and when you have one in a veteran like Andrews, who's still playing at a high level, you keep him aboard and groom a successor. Additionally, the team has two possible successors on hand in Jake Andrews, a fourth-round pick in 2023, and LSU's Charles Turner III, an undrafted free agent this offseason, who may surprise. This is a good situation at the center.

A third key reason why Andrews' extension is a solid move is that he's a key veteran leader on the O-line and the entire offense. The Patriots will have lots of young players on their rebuilding offense, but having veteran leaders like Andrews is not just advisable; it's essential.

While Drake Maye gains experience and will step into that role seamlessly, it may take some games for him to emerge. In the meantime, Andrews will be a crucial asset to both Maye's development and the team's success, especially in the short term.

There's full confidence here that the Maye selection was a home run pick and that he'll be good soon, if not from Day One, perhaps after a few games of learning on the job. While that metamorphosis takes place, having David Andrews around will be essential. When they're right, they're right. Eliot Wolf got this one very right.

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